RICHMOND, Va. (AP) -- Virginia's jobless rate remained steady in February and is still below the national average.
The Virginia Employment Commission says the state's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 5.6 percent in February. That's the same as it was in January, and down from 5.9 percent a year ago.
Virginia's unemployment rate has been trending down since joblessness peaked at 7.4 percent from December 2009 until March 2010.
The Labor Department says the national unemployment rate slid to a four-year low of 7.7 percent in February, down from 7.9 percent in January. Unemployment rates fell in 22 U.S. states in February from January, a sign that hiring gains are benefiting many parts of the country. Rates rose in 12 states and were unchanged in 16.